'Now, I am teaching my son letters. We work hard...well sort of. I have provided quite a bit of background on what we do (introducing alphabets, and phonemic awareness, and spelling sight words ), but here is (per a wonderful lady's request) what we actually do.
ALL SOUND REVIEW
We really sing quite a bit.
We sing the alphabet overview songs. (Sometimes off YouTube and sometimes from the CDs.) We don't always sing them all. Many times we sing one or two. Sometimes we have a dance party!
SOUND OF THE WEEK
We also sing the Alphafriend songs that go along with the letter for each week while he looks at it. (I also explicitly tell him what sound the letter makes.)
INITIAL SOUND SEGMENTATION
Then we may look at the decodable reader, the picture about the Alphafriends song, or his object box (small toys that I have gathered that begin with the letter of the week--you may also use pictures). We use these to review initial sound fluency. Mmm-Mickey Mouse, Mmm-man, and so on.
Finally, I work with him on blending. This is just oral; no printed letters are necessary. I try to elongate any continuous sounds and connect any stop sounds. We may play this anytime throughout the day. Many times, in the beginning, I was playing alone. He is starting to get the hang of it now though. (I think ;-)
SEGMENTING AND SPELLING
When it comes time for spelling, we will begin by having the child just find individual letters. "Find (or write) mmmm" (using the sound). Once a vowel is introduced, the word will be called (mat), then the adult will segment it (mmmmaaaaaat, Mmm-aaaa-t), the child can be encouraged to do this as well, but the child will ultimately write or select the appropriate letters as the adult repeats the segmentation. Eventually, the child will learn to segment and spell words themselves.
----------this is where we stop------------
WRITING AND LETTER FORMATION PRACTICE
*On occasion, we may pull out our tactile letters and work on the formation, but my son may be a bit young still for this. He likes them, but he really doesn't understand yet. I just try every now and again to see if he is ready.
If your child is ready for writing (at least three or four years old), you can use a highlighter to write letters on Kindergarten lined paper and let them trace. It is much easier than trying to draw dotted lines.
Here are some alliterative letter formation poems: http://dbsenk.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/letter-formation/